Have you noticed how popular sentiment about Google has been turning negative lately?
-- Matt Marshall's VentureBeat piece about Google's slackening grip on Silicon Valley's workforce. "When Googlers leave, it's usually to do their own thing. That may be changing soon."
-- Aaron Schwartz's post about how Google infantilizes its employees. "Everyone I know who works there either acts childish (the army of programmers), enthusiastically adolescent (their managers and overseers), or else is deeply cynical (the hot-shot programmers). But as much as they may want to leave Google, the infantilizing tactics have worked: they're afraid they wouldn't be able to survive anywhere else."
-- The New York Times piece about how YouTube is censoring comments to benefit its major content providers. I seem to recall Google executives saying on a conference call that they wouldn't be degrading the user experience. What up with that, G?
-- Paul Kedrosky says YHOO will outperform GOOG in 2007. I'm no strategic investor (just ask Larry Dignan), but I was saying the exact thing last week to my parents. Well, the exact thing minus the well-informed financial perspective and intimate market knowledge.
Now of course there are several reasons for these posts and articles (and what I linked to above isn't exactly a scientific survey of all posts about Google, just stuff I read). When a wildly successful company branches out into several new markets, the company is bound to get some negative press. And, given that Google's stock growth is relatively slow compared to last year, it's no wonder some approach Google with skepticism.
Or maybe people are getting bored with the Google story. Or they think Google's a little too greedy, like some film star trying to branch out into music (I'm looking at you, Eddie Murphy). Or hell, maybe it's just a bad week. I'm just sayin'. But could popular sentiment be turning against the G Poppa?